Japan’s largest telco in terms of subscribers NTT DoCoMo has launched its ‘Xi’ Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in the Mount Fuji area, including coverage of the mountain’s 3,776-m summit, and will offer connectivity until the end of the official climbing season in late August. According to a company’s press release, the Xi LTE service is currently available in the cabins along the Yoshida, Subashiri, Gotemba and Fujinomiya trails, as well as the summit, the entrances and the walking paths. NTT DoCoMo first introduced mobile services in the Fuji area in 1999 with its ‘Mova’ 2G network, which was discontinued in March 2012. The company’s 3G service, marketed under the FOMA brand, will also be available in the Fuji area during the climbing season.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the Japanese operator expects to sign a total of 25 million Xi LTE subscribers in FY2013, and plans to double the number of LTE base stations to 50,000 in 2013 one year ahead of its original schedule. DoCoMo has also announced its plans to introduce 150Mbps downlink speeds to the Japanese population within FY2013, ahead of the competition.